Nine years ago, Whirlpool Corporation and American Corporate Partners (ACP) joined ranks to support our nation’s veterans. Whirlpool Corp. has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of individuals through ACP, a national nonprofit organization focused on helping veterans, transitioning military members, and active-duty military spouses find their next career. Through a year-long customized mentorship program, applicants work closely with a mentor who can assist with defining their career fields of interest and guide them through the “do’s and don’ts” of successfully advancing in their career after service.
Whirlpool Corporation has made a difference and simultaneously grown the skill sets of its managers, executives, sales representatives, engineers, analysts and more. This program wouldn’t exist without the dedication that countless mentors provide throughout the yearlong mentorship. Whether the mentor has worked at Whirlpool Corporation for two years or two decades, each individual has their own particular set of experiences that ACP aligns with a veteran who has similar career objectives. This Veteran’s Day, understanding the impact that has been made and how the program has changed the lives of the participants and mentors is a valuable lesson to learn.
‘Giving back’ to other vets
One mentor in particular from Whirlpool Corporation who has made a significant difference in the life of a transitioning veteran is Senior Manager Jeremy Howe. Operating out of the company’s Global Headquarters for the past 14 years, Howe began volunteering his time last year and has already made a lasting impact in his Protege’s life. Only halfway through the year-long program, with Jeremy’s assistance, insight and perseverance, his Protégé accepted a project management position with a Fortune 500 company. The pair was able to translate the skills and experiences the veteran gained while serving in the Army and apply them to a position in corporate America.
“I found out about the ACP program through the Whirlpool Veterans Association,” said Howe. “I was really drawn to it because in my mind it seemed like a great fit for me in terms of volunteering and really an opportunity where I could ‘pay it forward,’ so to speak.”
“I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge a lot of the great support and help I got from my own mentors when I made my transition from the military to the civilian workforce, and the corporate environment in particular. So, I saw this mentoring opportunity with ACP as a great chance for me to give back and do the same thing to try and help another transitioning veteran who’s walking along the same footsteps that I myself once walked in years ago.”
Mentoring has its rewards
The mentoring does not conclude with the acceptance of a job opportunity. Howe and his Protégé continue to hone their skills, create networking goals and establish long-term career plans. Howe has been a sounding board, mock interviewer, coach and friend that was able to share his personal experiences from his own transition out of the Air Force.
“We all face challenges and obligations in our personal and professional lives, but I’m somebody who believes in the long run, when you look back on moments in your life in hindsight, these are the types of things that really stick with you,” said Howe.
“You’re going to remember those interpersonal experiences where you feel you’ve had a positive impact on somebody else, whether that’s a peer, a direct report, a people leader, a friend or a loved one. In this case, it’s somebody that I was involved with in this mentoring relationship. It’s very rewarding knowing that, hopefully in some small way, I was able to help him along in his own journey.”